Peak(s):  Mt. Columbia  -  14,075 feet
Mt. Harvard  -  14,424 feet
Date Posted:  09/20/2021
Date Climbed:   09/19/2021
Author:  jmg11
 Harvard Columbia Traverse   

Hiked the Harvard-Columbia traverse today. Started at TH 4:30am, back at car 2:15pm. Treeline travel is 4.0mi and very mellow. TH to Harvard summit took 3.5hrs. Traverse took 2.8hrs. Total: 16.1mi, Pace: 29:43min/mi

Light snow dusting last night but didn’t need my spikes, just a bit slippery at points. Strong, cold winds rolling in from the northwest today. Talking 60mph sustained winds on the summits and ridges, and probably 75mph gusts because I got pushed over a few times (6’6 210lbs). Fortunately no exposure on the east side of the traverse so I felt safe proceeding with W-to-E winds.

Summit grabs were straightforward Class 2, I just had to scramble because of the winds.

Harvard trail was beautiful and a nice challenge in the last mile. pictures were invaluable for the talus field on the traverse. And s/o to CFI for their efforts on the lower 2/3 of the Columbia switchbacks; beautiful work. Upper 1/3 still loose, steep, and undefined.

HIGHLY recommend hiking clockwise H to C. Can’t imagine starting off the day trying to climb Columbia’s upper switchbacks.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Comments or Questions
two lunches
beautiful photos!
09/20/2021 10:35
and yes that segment of old trail above the improved switchbacks is "character-building"

Trailhead access
09/26/2021 08:52
Hi, hoping to do this next weekend to finish the Sawatch range. Can you tell me anything about the road to the trailhead? Did you reach it and in what type of vehicle? Do you know when they close the road for winter access?


wonderful photographs
10/04/2021 20:07
That is quite the workout hiking both of those from the trailhead.
Nice work.

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